Having received multiple awards from countless institutions as well as being a favorite for the world’s elite, Steinway & Sons pianos continue to pass all standards since the company was founded by German immigrant Henry Steinway in a loft in New York City in 1853.
Unsurprisingly, making the world’s best piano is a time-honored process and despite the availability of various modern manufacturing technologies, the company insists on using skilled craftspeople rather than machines to assemble the some 12,000 parts that go into each piano. Between the two Steinway & Sons factories that house these skilled piano builders – one in Astoria, NY and one in Hamburg, Germany – it takes almost a full year to churn out a single piano. Ultimately, the majority of what goes into building a Steinway piano has remained essentially unchanged for generations.
Says the company:
“Master to apprentice, generation after generation, every Steinway is built with experience decades in the making — by artisans who take pride and time to humanize a piano still made by hand, who strive for and achieve continuous innovation and improvement.”
In this decades-old factory tour narrated by none other than the late John H. Steinway (great-grandson of Henry E. Steinway, who founded the company in 1853), filmmaker Ben Niles uses more recent footage he shot at the Steinway & Sons factory in New York to take us behind the scenes to see the world-class piano builders at work: